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Former Refugee Atem Dau Atem to Represent Australia at UN

The 2017 John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant, which supports an individual of refugee background to carry out advocacy at the United Nations in Geneva, has been awarded to Atem Atem, an Australian of South Sudanese heritage and a former refugee.  Atem was born in South Sudan but had to flee for his safety at the age of 12.  He lived in various refugee…

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Landmark win on citizenship for former refugees

In a landmark decision, the Federal Court of Australia has today ruled against the Minister of Immigration on the question of citizenship for people of refugee background. The Minister was found to have unreasonably delayed in making decisions on citizenship applications and was ordered to reconsider the applications of the two applicants in question. The case, brought by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA)…

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ACT offers subsidised training for people on bridging visas and temporary protection visas

The Refugee Council of Australia welcomes the announcement by the Australian Capital Territory government that it has extended eligibility for its Skilled Capital program and Australian Apprenticeships to people on bridging visas and temporary protection visas. As we have previously reported, these people are generally not able to access Commonwealth subsidies for further education, limiting their opportunities to contribute to Australia. The ACT is…

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NSW Government applauded for education support for people seeking asylum

  We are delighted with the NSW Government’s decision to waive education fees for people seeking asylum. It will make a huge difference to many people as they start to rebuild their lives and become financially independent members of the community. The majority of people seeking asylum are currently living in the community while they wait for their applications to be processed and have…

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New research shows immigration policy dividing thousands of families

New research released today by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) shows that thousands of people across Australia are unable to reunite with their families as a result of current immigration policy.  The report, ‘Addressing The Pain of Separation for Refugee Families’, finds that significant bureaucratic barriers are preventing people who have been recognised as refugees from bringing their families to safety. One such…

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US resettlement deal vital first step toward resolution of Australia’s self-made refugee crisis

Today’s resettlement announcement is a vital first step towards a resolution of Australia’s refugee crisis, although many crucial questions remain unanswered, says the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA). Tim O’Connor, Acting CEO of RCOA, said that “today’s announcement is a significant first step toward a resolution of the crisis that successive Australian governments have created through short-term, ad hoc policies focused on deterrence rather…

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Proposed perverse laws mete out more ad hoc punishment to vulnerable people seeking asylum

MEDIA RELEASE October 31, 2016. The Refugee Council of Australia has labelled the proposed draconian laws, aimed at banning people who arrived seeking asylum in Australia by boat from ever setting foot on Australian soil, as ill-targeted, perverse punishment for people who came to us seeking safety. Refugee Council of Australia acting CEO Tim O’Connor said “The Minister and the Prime Minister have gone…

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